October 25th, 2021

Jerry Firth: Council candidate hopes to build positive community relationships


By Tim Kalinowski on October 1, 2021.

Herald photo by Tim Kalinowski - Council candidate Jerry Firth says he hopes to help build positive community relationships.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDtkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

City council candidate Jerry Firth wants to help build more positive relationships within the community after a divisive four years on city council and within city politics in general.
Firth, who is the former Indigenous Recovery Coach Program manager with ARCHES and is currently the manager at Alpha House in Lethbridge, says his background as a social worker, and his inclination as a person, is to encourage constructive dialogue around finding common solutions to pressing social problems.
“Our city is facing a lot of difficult issues, and I am not very happy with how people have approached it,” he says. “I have a certain opinion, and value base, and perspective myself. But something I know from my work as a social worker and a community (builder) is you have to put yourself aside to be able to open your ears to what other people are saying, and figure out what’s this conversation? And how do we move forward from this? That’s not an easy thing to do all the time, but I don’t think we have been doing it right.”
Firth says by having difficult conversations without yelling at each other or calling each other names we as a community can drill down into the root causes of our social ills and reveal solutions not considered before. Firth says he favours, for example, a stronger municipal investment in housing.
“I do feel the City of Lethbridge does have to find ways to invest in those essential services; housing especially,” he says. “It’s important if we have those investments in place, we have got to get our hands dirty. We can’t be afraid to make a little bit of waves to get these services in place. But, as long as we are having the conversations ahead of time. We need to do the community engagement piece, but you are not going to have everyone agree on everything. So if it is the path that has proven to be successful, and there are models across the globe, let alone our country and province, where we know what works and what doesn’t work– then we need to act on it. We need to have that courageous leadership to move forward.”
Firth says if these types of investments are not undertaken then the city’s current problems will only grow worse.
“You can’t arrest your way out of these sorts of problems, and that is something police units have been saying themselves over the last few years,” he says. “You can’t address social issues from a policing component. They play an important role, but they are not the only part of the solution.”
In terms of capital investment in the community outside of these social needs, Firth is also in favour of restoring and enhancing parks funding to create great multi-use gathering spaces the entire community can get behind. Firth, who in his personal life is also a founder of Uplands Neighbourhood Association, a former member of the Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee, and a partner in Pogo Brothers Inc, which hosts the yearly Oktoberfest YQL, says he hopes to encourage more civic engagement to both create a sense of unity and togetherness in Lethbridge, and to encourage collective efforts in tackling the City’s greatest challenges.
Firth is hoping others in the community might be willing to join him in working to create a better city together through these collective efforts.
“I am a community builder,” Firth summarizes. ‘That is where my passion is. For me, those community spaces and gathering places; that’s what’s important to me.
“That’s the biggest reason I want to run,” he adds. “I want to be able to have the opportunity to continue to figure out new ways or other ways I can continue to grow our community, and have that development, from a place of the grassroots– that common voice that is maybe not always heard.”

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Older School

Yes, as long as the discussion gets what you want which is a Southern Alberta Rehab Facility that services all the addicts throughout Southern Alberta then there won’t be a problem. Its those nasty other 99% of the people in Lethbridge who are the problem, if they just got out of your way, then it the discussion would be so much easier.
You aren’t a builder, you are a divider!
You say that this is a successful model across the globe, it is highly successful, it garners $100,000 per candidate for the “NON-Profits” , it saddles communities with people that will not work, do not want to work, and want to be high everyday of their lives. It saddles communities with crime, filth, and ruins what it builds with Taxes.
You cannot even produce a set of data that shows how “successful” this system is without disguising the data in quarterly reports. You also do not follow the addict after year 1 because you prefer to have society believe that, they go on to productive society, when in fact they loop back through the $100,000 lotto! So I am unsure where you get the idea the model works, other than it pays well for those that feed off the system!
So if you would like a non aggressive discussion, produce data that is only based on Hard Drug Users, and goes beyond the first year of coddling! I know that won’t happen, last time it did, it showed the failure this system is, so suddenly glue sniffers were thrown in and Alcoholics too! Gotta get the numbers of successes up so the dummy taxpayer doesn’t realize he is being fleeced! Since the con worked, that’s how the Non-Profits and Medical Profession that profits off the failure, continues to package it!
When challenged the Non Profits say, its the only system we have, so we have to support it! Who is we, its our taxes that support a bad system and its only people like you that SAY, we have to support it, no we don’t we do not have to support anything with our money that FAILS, nor do we have to accept falsified numbers to pay the tab!
PS I never heard you challenge Dr TailFeathers claim that 91 of “her people” died during 6 months of 2020 because the Lethbridge SCS closed (SACPA) when you knew it was a lie… But, the lie supports your system and Non-Profit expansion doesn’t it? Minute 28:00 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DG7ViCHoFZE
Here is the FN submission to Alberta Link and the proof it was a lie.
https://lethbridgeherald.com/commentary/letters-to-the-editor/2021/06/23/lethbridge-deserves-an-apology-for-comments/
Do you note in this video Dr TailFeathers states over and over again that when the Lethbridge SCS closed that it had a major effect on “her” people? So she is well aware of the fact that the Blood/Kainai is dumping “their” people here for services so they do not have to put up with it, but we should?
Dr Tailfeathers has already decided, whether we like it or not, that Lethbridge is HER go to “Southern Rehab site”. She then goes on to state people were falsifying data at minute 31 after providing falsified data herself at minute 28, no retraction and no word from you either? So you can see Dr TailFeathers is more than interested in assisting you at Alpha House and who cares about the 99%? So far I have heard not one peep out of you!
Why? The only assumption that can be drawn is the falsified data personally works for you and your business Mr Firth! You want “Positive Community Relations” as long as the discussion goes your way, I have news for you….its not going to be easy, because the con in this system is slowly being exposed for the money making failure it is! I personally believe you LOPS, MSTH and Dr TailFeathers have a personal agenda that is being hidden behind your ” Positive Community Relations” and it won’t be good for the 99% of Lethbridge!
You say you want Positive Community Relations, but like all other NON PROFITS who profit highly from drug addicts, you state, It has to be done your way or (then the threat) and I quote “Firth says if these types of investments are not undertaken then the city’s current problems will only grow worse.” Which I can say, from personal experience, is an outward piece of Bullchips!
The truth is, the cities that offer the least, (towns surrounding Vancouver) tend to see a mass exodus of Addicts to Cities that provide the most (Van DTES), those are the facts Mr. Firth but somehow you don’t understand that, why is that? Did you conveniently forget Mr Firth? How do I know this, and you don’t Mr Firth? How can we trust you when you do not realize something as basic as this and not be truthful with Lethbridge?
The difference between you and I is you want Lethbridge to Provide the MOST (like Van DTES) and not some other community, which is not the way the 99% of Lethbridge thinks. You want all these services? I say on behalf of those who disagree, “no problem, move 20+ miles outside Lethbridge and you have yourself a Good Time!”
You have no interest in Relations its your way or the highway! So why not just speak truthfully, you want a Full Service system in Lethbridge that will attract addicts from the rest of Southern Alberta. Because unlike you, I know you cannot service “our addicts” without attracting more and more from other regions! Then the other Non-Profits will be more than willing to get you more addicts so you can continually put demands on Lethbridge so you can grow and grow! Thats how all this works Mr Firth but you aren’t saying that, Why?
That’s the difference between you and I, Mr Firth! You speak as if this vision of yours is going to be small and stay small, which is the biggest of cons on your fellow Lethbridgians! What is good for Alpha House is not so good for everyone else’s businesses in Lethbridge, so why not be upfront about it? Why not make public you are trying to apply for another SCS and when you met opposition from RESIDENTS, you withdrew it but, you are going to try an administrative “Direct Control” to bypass TAXPAYERS! Or are these parts, not part of those “positive discussions you refer too! The interesting thing is you know all this already, and “I know, that you know, what this will do to Lethbridge”…..but you are not upfront and you aren’t even a politician yet!
I personally believe you would be a danger to Lethbridge in any position within our Political Landscape because of your ability to omit or minimize to achieve an end, which now that I ponder it, is exactly what Politicians do!

Last edited 23 days ago by Older School
pursuit diver

Well said! Lethbridge Council has the power to decide what happens on our streets and the citizens have grown weary of the carnage, the debauchery, the open drug use that increased dramatically AFTER the SCS opened.
If we don’t get a Council that has the intestinal fortitude to stand up to those indigenous that live outside of Lethbridge, telling us what we should be doing, after banishing their problems onto our streets, then the people of this city will do it themselves!
We need leadership! We need our streets taken back and we need a Council willing to do that! If not, you will see the people start to do it themselves!
We are tired! We are taxpayers that have paid a high cost, not only from crime, but the millions that are spent dealing with the impacts, such as the Watch, D.O.T., Clean Sweep, and many other organizations hired to clean up encampments, bio-hazards, graffiti, etc. All thanks to the SCS and Alpha House and the addicts that in many cases are not allowed to return to their First Nations communities.
Would it be nice if Lethbridge could banish all the troublemakers, then sit back and judge how the other communities deal with them?
It is time the indigenous people grew up acting like adults, taking responsibility for their plight and stopped the blame game.
People come hear from war-torn countries, running for their lives with only the clothes on their backs and a debt to repay for Canada transporting them here, and within years have paid back the debt, made homes for themselves with a vehicle, appreciating what they have working 2-3 jobs often to build their dreams!
I am tired of the blame game and our streets, neighbourhoods and parks being taken over by other communities’ problem people that were shipped here. Even Alpha House ships people to our city from other shelters!
This Jerry Firth’s dedication to the city and it’s people! Nothing has changed since the SCS!

pursuit diver

Stick to social work! Arches/SCS destroyed our city and have zero compassion to the area businesses that were impacted!
I wouldn’t brag about your position at the Alpha House that has a major drug issue and gang issues, with many not wanting to stay there because of the bullies that are in gangs. You cannot even manage Alpha House and you want to govern Lethbridge?
Insanity, but I guess you always did have your blinders on at the SCS and LOPS issues! You have had a complete disrespect for the laws of this city and province and the citizens, the taxpayer!
You will never have my vote! Alpha House should be closed, period!

Last edited 23 days ago by pursuit diver
Montreal13

Quote , ” You cannot even manage Alpha House and you want to govern Lethbridge?” Enough said?

Dakota

Considering the despicable, dismal past failures and the dysfunctional way ARCHES was mismanaged, I find it incredulous that this candidate would actually attempt to use his past affiliation with that terrible legacy in his re-election campaign. That is all I need to know about this candidate. He is hardly a “community builder” but more of a local downtown business wrecker. How arrogant and delusional is this man? He will not receive my vote, ever.

Last edited 17 days ago by Dakota


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